ANCIENT INDIANA METROPOLIS

 

 

A thousand years ago, Evansville was home to a thriving community of Mississippian Indians on the banks of the Ohio River. Archaeologists are uncovering the mysteries of these past inhabitants by combing over artifacts they left behind.

 

About Angel Mounds

 

Located on the banks of the Ohio River in southwest Indiana, Angel Mounds State Historic Site is one of the best-preserved pre-contact Native American sites in North America. Built between A.D. 1050 and 1400, the town was occupied by 1,000 plus Mississippians. The society built 11 earthen mounds as platforms to elevate important buildings. The original town covered an area of 103 acres and served as an important religious, political and trade center for people living within a 75-mile radius.

 

The site was abandoned before European explorers came to North America. Possible explanations for abandonment are depletion of natural resources, climatic changes or the collapse of the chiefdom.

 

More than 600 acres comprise Angel Mounds State Historic Site. The site includes an interpretive center, recreations of the Mississippian buildings and a working reconstruction of the 1939 WPA archaeology laboratory. The 500-acre non-archaeological portion of the site contains a nature preserve with hiking and biking trails.

 Mississippian Culture

 

Mississippian culture was innovative and the first to extensively exploit agriculture and build permanent communities with thousands of residents. This economic and social system was made possible by the widespread cultivation of corn, which was nutritious and could be stored in large quantities. The town here lends its name to the Angel phase of Mississippian culture, found near the confluence of the Wabash and Ohio Rivers from the late 11th through the early 15th centuries.

After more than 300 years of constant occupation, the town was abandoned. By 1450, the site was empty, and no one knows for sure why the inhabitants left. The local supply of wood and game would have been depleted. Intense agriculture might have overworked the soil. There is no indication of attack from outside, but there may have been internal political upheavals. The reasons they left are questions archaeologists continue to research. The Mississippians dispersed but continued in the Ohio River valley through the early 1600s. These later Mississippians were also gone before the arrival of Europeans in Indiana.

Archaeology at Angel Mounds and 
the WPA Archaeology Laboratory
 
 

In historic times, the site was a working farm of the Angel family. In 1938, with a donation from Mr. Eli Lilly, the Indiana Historical Society purchased the land to protect it from development. Starting in 1939, under the direction of Glenn A. Black, a crew of 277 Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers began excavating the site, recovering over 2.5 million artifacts.

The site was transferred to the State of Indiana in 1946, with Indiana University continuing the archaeological work. A replica of the original WPA building was built on the site in early 2013. The building contains exhibits on the WPA and its contribution to the site’s research. The new lab facility is open during all site excavations and during special events.

Indiana University/Glenn A. Black Lab is responsible for excavations and research on the site. 

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VISIT

ANGEL MOUNDS

 

HOURS

Angel Mounds is open year-round!
Tuesday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, 1 – 5 p.m.

Closed on Mondays except Memorial Day, May 26 and Labor Day, September 1.

TICKETS 

Purchase admission tickets in the Angel Mounds Interpretive Center.

Adults $5
Seniors* $4
Children* $2
Students $2
Children under 3 FREE

 

Indiana State Museum members and members of other State Historic Sites Friends Groups get FREE admission and a 10 percent discount in the gift shop!

*Child: ages 3 through 12
*Senior: age 60 and older

Group/School Tours: Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more and for school groups. Call 812.853.3956 to schedule your group.

DIRECTIONS AND PARKING

Get directions to Angel Mounds State Historic Site.

Where to park
Parking is available at the Angel Mounds Interpretive Center.

 

 

Contact us 

 

STAFF


Mike Linderman
Site Manager
mlinderman@indianamuseum.org 

Haley Tallman
Program Developer
htallman@indianamuseum.org

Jim Burton
Site Naturalist
jburton@indianamuseum.org

Heather Stone
Education Assistant
hstone@indianamuseum.org

 

Angel Mounds State Historic Site


8215 Pollack Ave.
Evansville, IN 47715


Phone: 812.853.3956
Fax: 812.858.7686
Emailangelmoundsshs@indianamuseum.org

EDUCATION EVENTS & STANDARDS

AT ANGEL MOUNDS

 

A thousand years ago, Evansville was home to a thriving community of Mississippian Indians on the banks of the Ohio River. Each year, archaeologists come closer to uncovering the mysteries of these past inhabitants by combing over artifacts they left behind. Your students will make very personal connections with this prehistoric Native American culture and the natural landscape.

 

Academic topics covered:

  • Prehistoric Native American culture (Mississippian ca. 1000 — 1400 A.D.)
  • Archaeology
  • Nature
  • Star lore

 

Grades 3 – 12
MoundQuest
 

 

 

Take a walk in Mississippian footsteps on this guided tour of the ancient village site.


 
Grades PreK – 12
Birds, Berries, Beavers & Bark
 
 

Discover how the “bare necessities” gave Mississippians the means to not only survive but thrive.

 

 

Spring Farm Fest  

March 14
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
March 15 
1 - 5 p.m. 
$5 per person

 

Celebrate Hoosier roots at a birthplace of Indiana farming. Spring Farm Fest kicks off the planting season with a fun-filled weekend of crafts, demonstrations, farm fare, and more. Honoring centuries of Indiana farming, the event features the earliest Native American traditions to those that grew from such roots.


 
Destination: Discovery - Spring Break Day Camp 

March 23 - 27 
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
$150 for non-members
$135 for members of any host organizations 
Multiple registration discount of $15 for each additional child. 

 

At Destination Discovery, campers will spend Spring Break exploring Evansville’s most premier day camp destinations: Angel Mounds State Historic Site; Children's Museum of Evansville; Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science; Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Gardens; and Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve. Registration includes free t-shirt and snacks.

Destination Discovery Brochure
Early drop-off and late pick-up options available; Extended care available for an additional $25. 


 
Archaeology C. S. I.

May 14 - 15 
9 a.m. - 1 p.m. 
$5 per student
Teachers and chaperones FREE
 

At Archaeology CSI (Cultural Scene Investigation), your students will not only witness science in action at a real archaeological site, but become a part of it. They'll rub elbows with professional archaeologists as they go step-by-step through the REAL processes of an archaeological field school. From surveying to excavating to lab work, your students will apply their math and science studies to solving age-old mysteries of the ancients. Each investigative activity is designed to build teamwork, inspire curiosity, and reinforce classroom curriculum. Participants will use geometry to establish a site grid, map an excavation unit, dig for artifacts, record and interpret data and much more.


 
Time Detective Archaeology Camp: World Tour 

June 1 - 5 
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
$150 per child
$135 per child if registered before May 15, per multiple registrations or per member
Registration includes free T-shirt, snacks and lunch on Friday 
 

If variety is the spice of life, then this camp has flavor! Kids will spend the week travelling the furthest reaches of the ancient world. Have your fortune told in the sacred temples of Greece; visit the great tombs of Egypt; meet Rome’s most notorious characters; travel along the Ohio River to the great mounds; and wet your whistle with valkyries and Valhalla for a taste of the Viking world – all in one dynamic camp!

Not for the faint of heart, Angel Mounds summer camps are an intensive immersion experience, meaning campers will spend time off the beaten path, getting dirty and being active. Depending on registrant nos., each camp will include a field trip. All activities are facilitated by Angel Mounds’ own seasoned staff with decades of combined experience. Each camper receives personal attention in an engaging setting that will make for an unforgettable summer! 


 
Time Detective Archaeology Camp: Go Greek 

June 8 - 12 
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
$150 per child
$135 per child if registered before May 15, per multiple registrations or per member
Registration includes free T-shirt, snacks and lunch on Friday 

 

Become a demigod á la Percy Jackson! Armed with special powers and prophecies, campers will train with Spartan warriors and compete in ancient Olympic games. To complete their journey through ancient Greece, campers will be forced to face the Minotaur in a real-life labyrinth!

Not for the faint of heart, Angel Mounds summer camps are an intensive immersion experience, meaning campers will spend time off the beaten path, getting dirty and being active. Depending on registrant nos., each camp will include a field trip. All activities are facilitated by Angel Mounds’ own seasoned staff with decades of combined experience. Each camper receives personal attention in an engaging setting that will make for an unforgettable summer! 


 
Time Detective Archaeology Camp: Viking Voyage 

June 15 - 19
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
$150 per child
$135 per child if registered before May 15, per multiple registrations or per member
Registration includes free T-shirt, snacks and lunch on Friday 

 

Become one of the most feared and loved peoples of the ancient world. Campers will be whisked back to the days of yore where they will raid settlements, master the tools of Viking trade, and learn just what it takes to reach Valhalla.

Not for the faint of heart, Angel Mounds summer camps are an intensive immersion experience, meaning campers will spend time off the beaten path, getting dirty and being active. Depending on registrant nos., each camp will include a field trip. All activities are facilitated by Angel Mounds’ own seasoned staff with decades of combined experience. Each camper receives personal attention in an engaging setting that will make for an unforgettable summer! 


 
Time Detective Archaeology Camp: Adventure Angel 

June 22 - 26 
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
$150 per child
$135 per child if registered before May 15, per multiple registrations or per member
Registration includes free T-shirt, snacks and lunch on Friday 

 

At Angel Mounds, we understand the importance of play; and this midsummer camp is all about it! Adventure Angel offers the same quality activities campers have come to expect, but with one caveat – there is no caveat! Anything goes during this week of frivolous fun! Kids will love sloshing through the mud in our first ever Camp Mud Run; put their ingenuity to the test constructing a giant slip & slide; and participate in a host of other team building challenges. If you know us, we go big or go home, and Adventure Angel is no exception. Inspiring curiosity, creativity, and camaraderie, this camp is sure to be the highlight of the summer!

Not for the faint of heart, Angel Mounds summer camps are an intensive immersion experience, meaning campers will spend time off the beaten path, getting dirty and being active. Depending on registrant nos., each camp will include a field trip. All activities are facilitated by Angel Mounds’ own seasoned staff with decades of combined experience. Each camper receives personal attention in an engaging setting that will make for an unforgettable summer! 


 
Corn Maze

October 2015
Closed Mondays 
Tuesday - Thursdays 3 - 7 p.m. 
Fridays 3 - 9 p.m.
Saturdays 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Sundays 1- 5 p.m. 
$3 per person
Reservations Required
 

Get lost in the maize. Acres of mystery and fun await you at the Angel Mounds Corn Maze - where twists and turns create an ancient design that’ll keep you guessing and giggling the whole way. Navigate the maze, collecting stamps from the maize guardians, and enter to win a special prize. Concessions will be available for purchase, and an open fire will be ongoing for weenie roasting and s’more.

Friday and Saturday evenings feature flashlight trick-or-treating and seasonal games and treats. This is a BYOF (Bring your own flashlight.) event; or make a $5 returnable deposit to use one of Angel Mounds’. Those who make it through, collecting each piece of candy, will receive a free s‘more packet and the chance to enter a prize drawing.

Friday and Saturday: Flashlight Trick-or-Treating takes from 7 - 9 p.m.